Sunday, 3 May 2015

Elsa and Fred


'Elsa and Fred' are seniors living alone in adjacent apartments. One has withdrawn from active life whilst the other is outgoing and inquisitive.

This American remake of a Spanish film has echoes of the original's European sensibilities. Predictable but still entertaining this is a film for the over 60s (or thereabouts).
★★★1/2

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Testament of Youth


I have to confess that I'd never heard of Vera Brittain nor of her book from which the film 'Testament of Youth', a World War 1 period piece of the type which the British do so well, is adapted.

The film chronicles the wartime experiences of Ms Brittain, her family and several suitors.

The film is beautifully acted and contains stunning images. I felt like I'd spent two hours in an art gallery after seeing it.
★★★★

Friday, 1 May 2015

Jumpy

Sydney Theatre Company

The chief protagonists in 'Jumpy' are a fifties something mother and her fifteen years old daughter. They don't see eye to eye over nearly everything and are engaged in an endless battle of wits. Peripheral characters are the girl's father, the mother's female friend, the parents of the daughter's boyfriend and a couple of other friends of the daughter.

The program notes suggest this play is more than the comedy it appears on the surface to be. Apparently it is also a commentary on post Thatcher Britain. If so, I didn't get any of that from this production.

From the audience reaction at the performance I attended those who got most from the play were women who I guess could relate to the mother/teenage daughter representations. The males in the audience mainly remained quiet.

Even as comedy I thought this play missed the mark. The performers certainly tried hard but I wasn't impressed.

The set design which has furniture items sliding across stage by remote control through endlessly opening and closing walls seemed at times like a Swiss cuckoo clock gone berserk on steroids. It was a distraction.
★★

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Endgame

(Sydney Theatre Company)

I am the last person in the world one should turn to for an explanation of a Samuel Beckett play. In 'Endgame' a master and his servant are engaged in conversation whilst (the ghosts of?) the master's parents exist in dustbins nearby.

I suppose plays like this have what ever meaning you see in them or if you are like me who can see no specific meaning you just go along for the ride.

Hugo Weaving and Tom Budge are excellent as master and servant respectively in this Sydney Theatre Company production.
★★★